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The Situation Room

News/Business. Wolf Blitzer. Traditional reporting and online resources update international news. New.

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Us 36, Clinton 22, John Boehner 16, Chavez 12, Boehner 10, Dana 10, North Korea 10, America 10, U.s. 9, Iran 9, Washington 9, Geico 9, Eric Cantor 9, United States 7, Kim Jong-un 6, Mitch Mcconnell 6, Maryland 5, Cnn 5, Darrell Issa 5, Jessica Yellin 4,
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  CNN    The Situation Room    News/Business. Wolf Blitzer. Traditional reporting  
   and online resources update international news. New.  

    January 1, 2013
    1:00 - 3:59pm PST  

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parade, it was a happy homecoming. >> the husband and father of that little girl, they think he's in afghanistan, but look -- >> it's a little boy. >> they see daddy. he had no idea. [ applause ] >> oh, how beautiful. >> the son is hugging his dad. it's pretty thrilling. >> they thought they were here to take a picture to send to him in afghanistan. >> well, there is nothing better than watching that kind of homecoming between family.
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we are now going to go to wolf blitzer who has got the very latest and all of the updates on the fiscal cliff. wolf? deb, thanks very much. happening now, a fiscal cliff hanger. the senate bipartisan bill faces a very uncertain future in the republican-led house. >> our speaker has said, when senate acts, we will have a vote in the house. that is what he said. that is what we he can be pekt. that is what the american people deserve. >> but is a sudden rift in the republican leadership putting it all in jeopardy? >> also, we're breaking down the deal on the table right now. we're going to show you how it impacts view your bottom line. and what about the secretary of state? her dangerous blood clot. what could that mean for hillary clinton and her political future? i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." right now we're following breaking news.
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all eyes are in the house of representatives where lawmakers are weighing the future of a bill that's now effectively a fiscal cliff fix. no vote has been scheduled on the bill that the senate passed in the middle of the night after steep tax cuts and spending cuts kicked in. speaker john boehner has been trying to overcome some seriously stiff republican opposition. our senior congressional correspondent dana bash is beginninging our coverage this hour. dana, what's the very latest as far as republicans in the house, the majority are concerned? >> reporter: the very latest, wolf, is that down this hallway is the house speaker's office. in that house right now are minutes of the house republican leadership having a discussion, what are they going to do? are they going to have a vote tonight and more importantly, are they going to try to put this senate-passed bill on the house floor with an amendment. it was very clear in talking to
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many, many house republicans coming out of a meeting they had earlier this afternoon that there was a big desire to have an amendment with some spending cuts. in fact, i spoke with one of those republicans, steve la tour receipt. >> the speaker, to his credit, says we are famous for putting poison pills in pieces of legislation and they can say, that's a poison pill. he's asked that we be responsible and whatever the spending cuts are, that they either be something that the president himself has proposed in the past or the senate has embraced in the past and i think that's what you will see. >> reporter: when you think about spending cuts, people might be wondering whether or not they are going to put something, an amendment on the floor which could be wide ranging. it seemses as if they do this,
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it will be targeted to put new spending cuts in to replace the sequester which is, of course, what the senate did for two month. so this is all very up in the air but it is clear that it is -- it is really fluid now and it's not a sure thing that this could get through the house right now with republican votes or democratic votes. it's just not sure. >> as far as i can tell, dana, and you're much closer to this than i am, if it was strictly up to the speaker of the house, john boehner, i think he would allow that senate-passed bill or pass 89 to 8, a lopsided bipartisan majority to simply come up for a vote. but he's got problems, including his number two, eric cantor, doesn't like, he can't support what the senate passed in such a lopsided vote and it looks like
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there's going to be a vote maybe tonight on new legislation which if it's passed by the house would then have to go back to the senate. >> reporter: that's right. first of all, let's talk about your question about the house speaker. he, i am told by several people in this meeting today, was very intentionally did not give his opinion. he didn't say whether he supports or opposes this bill. eric cantor did and he was certainly sending a signal to conservatives and making clear his personal position for good reasons. as the speaker goes, he really, i'm told, was told to just listen to concerns of the members. but it is true that if they do amend this, that it would have to go back to the senate down the hall here and it would have to be passed by thm or not. the other thing, just to sort of play this out a couple of days, there's a new congress sworn in on thursday, in just two days. if they don't finish this and send it to the president in the next two days, they are going to have to start all over again legislatively. one thing i will tell you is
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that in this meeting i'm also told it wasn't just concerns about spending cuts. there were a fair number of people, i'm told, who said let's not let the perfect be the enemy of the good and let's just do this and fight another fight down the road and many of those people had a lot of concerns about what happens tomorrow morning and overnight internationally. here in the u.s. tomorrow morning when the markets opens, there's a lot of talk about spooking when the market opens. >> dana, as soon as you get more, let us now. the chairman of the house oversight committee, darrell issa, went to the floor to voice his concerns about the senate's fiscal cliff bill. >> when faced with a mountain of debt that we were heading for, like an airplane, did we climb over it? no. what we're going to do in the present plan is put nearly another trillion dollars worth of debt on the american people. >> so will the congressman vote
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for it? congressman issa is joining us live from capitol hill. congressman, thanks very much. if it just comes up the way it passes the senate, could you live with it? >> i think in its current form this opportunity, this once in a lifetime opportunity to do real spending cuts has to be seized. and for a good reason. they failed to meet their own stated obligation which was to bring us a balanced bill, one that had tax adjustment, yes, but also had spending cuts. this one fails at that and fails badly. >> so where are the spending cuts you will seek as part of an amendment to the senate-passed legislation? >> well, the very first one we debated on the floor this morning. the $11 billion that would be saved by, among other things, not increasing the pay of members of congress. we certainly would like to see that one included. we believe the president's executive order throwing 11 billion in new spending on a few days ago was inappropriate, to
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say the least. our committee has passed over $80 billion over a year worth of changes that we believe could be there. some of them could be adopted in this package. some of the tax extenders could be adjusted. as you know, wolf, there's a complex number of areas and if you can't find it and by the way if you're saying that less than two month from now or approximately two months from now we're going to be dealing with sequestration avoidance, you've failed to meet your requirement. this bill should take care of sequestration for at least a year and very clearly spell out what changes need to be paid for as part of a nearly $4 trillion tax cut. >> you realize, of course, congressman, if don't pass legislation, actual legislation that the senate passes between now and noon on thursday, millions of your constituents out there, all across the country, are going to see a
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significant tax increase, not just rich people making more than $400,000 a year, but middle class families will immediately start paying more. >> well, as you know, wolf, starting january 1st the obama care tax increase kick cans in and speaker pelosi passed when she had the role under this president. but let's also remember that if we get it right on january 2nd, 3rd 4th or 5th, we won't ultimately have these kick in. technically the tacks have gone up. i would like to open with a resolution but if we don't signal that we're willing to cut this $1.3 trillion per year, the american people aren't getting a tax cut. they are getting a tax deferral. the money will still be owed. it will simply be next year or the next generation. either way, i think we have to put a down payment, as the president said, on a real
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reduction, something he hasn't done with the senate in this bill. >> a lot of your constituents are going to hate you. they are going to hate your fellow republicans in the house of representatives if you don't allow new legislation to go forward and they are going to be paying a lot more in taxes. >> wolf, i only have one voting card and i was instructed by my voters when i was re-elected to vote my conscience, to vote their best interest. not for one day for the rest of their lives. the only way i can do my job is use my best judgment to make sure we're not passing on debts that we can't pay in the future. dealing with social security, dealing with medicare, some of these things are complex and would take more time. but some of the spending cuts that have already been voted through the house that simply aren't in the senate bill could be dealt with in a matter of hours. and i think the senate knows that although they passed a bill on a very bipartisan basis, they didn't do the heavy lifting. the heavy lifting is adding additional spending cuts and
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sending it back over. my voters want a tax cut if they can have it but they want a tax cut that is real, not one that you don't pay today but owe it tomorrow. >> so it was an 89 majority, 89-8 vote, only 8 democrats and republicans in the house voted against it. did not vote in the middle of the night. all of those 89, including all of the conservative republicans like pat toomey and others, they were wrong? >> you know, wolf frk i can't account for what happens after midnight and all of that partying and referee and dlinking that goes on at 2:00 in the morning. what i can tell you is they did half of a bill. half of the bill is going to be popular certainly in the way of holding down taxes but the other half is there's no spending reductionses. as a matter of fact, there is additional spending. the president has backed this bill with items including tens and billions of dollars for unemployment extension, which is
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going to have to be paid for. hurricane sandy relief, which is somewhere between 27 and $60 billion comes right behind it. that's newspaper new spending. the american people told us to deal with all of it. sure, we'd like lower taxes but republicans realize's that a lower tax that is only temporary because ultimately you're only borrowing the money is not lower tax. it's a tax defrl. when speaker pelosi and democrats were in charge, they used the word pay go constantly. in other words, is there an offsetting pay for what you do? president bush's tax cuts were not paid for. they were anticipated to be grown out of. these are not anticipated to be grown out of. cdo has said 3.967. in other words, $4 trillion will be added to the debt over ten years with this tax cut unless we do some spending cuts to help offset it. right now the president's still
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in a spending mood. we need to get him in a savings mood. >> i want to clarify, you said it was after the new year's and they were partying. are you suggesting that mitch mcconnell and fellow republicans in the senate were drunk when she voted on this last night? >> of course not. i was having a little fun with you, wolf. it was after midnight t was a piece of legislation intended to be passable. not necessarily to be right. and this was in fact something that joe biden found a way to get the art of the possible. send something to the senate that the house could consider. now it's in the house. what we find missing from it sl any kind of reasonable spending reduction, something that the house has dealt with in committee. we've bubbled it up. we have a lot of figures. quite frankly, the lack of sequestration, the idea that in two months, in addition to this, we'll be dealing with the cliff in defense and sequestration and the cliff in the sense that we
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don't raise the debt limit, i think they could easily be dealt with today. i'm with eric cantor. this bill in its present form is not good enough and the american people are smart enough to know that what you don't pay today and owe tomorrow, you'll have to pay tomorrow. >> we've got to go, congressman. you still have confidence in the speak a speaker? >> i have confidence in the speaker. he's making the process open but of course that includes people like myself and leader cantor who say we have to be open to change. >> darrell issa, thank you very much. much more and the white house reaction to this latest rift between the house speaker and the republican majority leader when it comes to the fiscal cliff bill. what's going on? plus. >> the latest on hillary clinton's blood clot. when she might be released from the hospital, what could it mean
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we're following the breaking news here in washington. house republican leaders, they are meeting right now, they are trying to decide whether to vote on the senate's fiscal cliff bill that passed in a lopsided 89-8 majority in the middle of the night. many republican lawmakers, though, have grave concerns about the lack of spending cuts in the senate-passed bill and they could decide to amend the measure, send it back to the
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house. tom foreman is working this for us. tom, how big of a complication would this be? >> this is massive, wolf. i can't even say how big it is. i'm standing inside of our virtual senate where last night a lot of people thought solutions were under way as they passed all of these different measures that would have something to do with the fiscal cliff but on the other side of the capitol, on the house side, dark clouds have been gathering all day long because there are some things that were passed here that the house republicans just hate and let me show you some examples. for example, there's one over here. if you look at this whole notion of the cap, we're where you're going to keep the bush tax cuts and where you're going to get rid of them. ultimately they decided that they'd put it at 450,000 for couples and $400,000 for individuals. if you make less than that, you keep the bush tax cuts. if you make more than that, you pay more in taxes.
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republicans say this is all about increasing taxes, not at all about controlling spending. what about this? deductions. people who make more money, you're going to lose some of the deductions that you had before. you're going to have them capped. you're not going to be able to avoid the taxes. once again, it's all about raising taxes and not about controlling spending. as congressman issa mentioned a few moments ago, even on the measures that are about spending, many of the house republicans think the senate went absolutely the wrong direction. look at this. this was the measure that had to do with providing extended unemployment benefits for about two million americans out there. we know there are about 12 million who remain unemployed but some need extended unemployment insurance. that was approved for an additional year at a price tag of i think about $30 billion
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overall. this is what house republicans are saying, hold on about, you cannot do this. they are saying, all you are doing is running up spending and charging the taxpayers even more to try to pay for it. the main complaint from the house is not that you can't do some of these things with taxes, maybe some of them oppose that outright but others are saying, if you're going to do that, you must have the second half of the equation. you must address spending. everyone knew last night the senate wasn't really doing that, wolf, but the notion was that this was a step at a time deal. maybe they could get this part done and then address spending a little further down the line maybe in a few weeks or a couple months. the house, however, seems to be slamming the brakes on that to some degree and many are saying that they can't take the deal unless they see right upfront where the spending cuts will be. we'll see how it shakes out, wolf. >> that's precisely what conservative republicans are
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saying right now. thank you. let's dig a little deeper right now with ryan lizza, he's the washington correspondent for "the new yorker" magazine. it looks like there's a battle going on between the speaker, john boehner, and the leader eric cantor, saying he he cannot not support this bill. i've been getting the impression from the last few days whark ever passed the senate if it passed in a lopsided majority, he would allow that oh to come up for an up or down vote in the house. >> the dynamics in place in 2011 when boehner was trying to come to an agreement when he had people like cantor and paul ryan on the right, it seems like be that dynamic has opened up again. up until now, since the election, boehner and cantor have been like this. >> right. >> cantor stood on stage at the
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press conference the day after plan b failed and took responsibility for that failure. they were together in leadership agreeing on the path forward up until this moment. cantor has come up against the deal and boehner is still trying to feel where the conference is. >> let's say the house tonight comes up with legislation, the senate legislation but it includes an amendment for significant spending cuts. and it passes with a lopsided just republican majority, the democrats vote against it, the republicans vote in favor of it by and large. then what? >> well, senate democratic aides are telling us that they won't pass anything if it comes back from the house with additional amendments. that's the line that is being quietly being put out. i haven't seen any senior democratic senators come out and say that but if that holds, this whole thing false apart. >> there's going to be a whole new congress starting thursday at night so they start from
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scratch. in the meantime, the markets will open tomorrow. they are very worried about continuity, et cetera. >> this legislation expires thursday at noon. you might see some liberal democrats say forget about it. republicans don't like that but they don't like that, for example. >> there are a lot of senate liberals that voted for it and didn't love it. and a lot of liberals are arguing that obama caved and they don't like the deal that he negotiated and they might say, you know what, we're already over the cliff. let's wait for the new congress to get in the house. we'll start over. so this is pretty bad news if you think from the perspective of wanting a deal before thursday. >> if they start all over again, they could do it within a few days and my experience in
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washington, the longer you wait on a deal like, this the more complicated potentially you could get. >> they can't let us continue on the fiscal -- we've gone over the fiscal cliff. >> unemployment could go from 7.75% to 7.95%. >> the white house tried to do a grand bargain with boehner and revenue piece that's been kicked back to the house and the house is saying, forget it, forget it, we want these spending cuts, too. so everyone has to be in a room negotiating this thing. >> ryan, thank you. the vice president joe biden has just weighed in on the confusion in the house of representatives. what is he saying? stand by. jessica yellin is over at the white house. 315 horsepower.
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breaking news, we're following house republicans expressing grave concern about the senate's fiscal cliff bill with the majority eric cantor
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saying flatly he does not support what the senate passed in the middle of the night 89-8. clearly there seems to be significant problems and maybe a significant break between the house speaker john boehner and eric cantor. let's bring in jessica yellin. i understand that we just heard from the vice president joe biden who has played an important role in putting this deal together. >> that's right, wolf. the vice president playing the role of the informal go-between, the negotiator with senate majority leader mitch mcconnell being an informal commentator now. well, the entire staff here at the white house has been watching, waiting and anxiously he anticipating word from the hill as this snag has arisen in the afternoon. frankly here at the white house they sort of, i get the sense, for it to be on the way to resolution by now. folks on the inside have been
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hungry. that mess is closed at the white house and the vice president took it on himself to go out and get some sandwiches and left the white house grounds and took a stroll across the street to pick up lunch for himself. i think we can play the video on his walk over to potbelly. someone asked him a question. this is what he said. >> mr. vice president, are we going to avoid the fiscal cliff? what did you say? i'm sorry? >> i hope so. i think so. >> reporter: i hope so. i think so. that was the vice president. he walked about 2 1/2 blocks from the white house and brought home -- i don't know if we have video of it, but he brought home sandwiches, it looks like three or four sandwiches for his entire staff. the challenge for the president is that the vice president had something of a relationship with
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eric cantor but not one that could overcome their philosophical differences on these issues. they don't have a move left to make in terms of getting the house gop to change its position right now. they really have to watch and wait to see what happens as the house decides what to do tonight, wolf. >> what do officials at the white house expect to happen between now and tomorrow? because the deadline is over by thursday at noon, that's when the new congress is sworn in. >> reporter: well, the way they put it, they are counting on the house to realize that this is the best option left, in their view, and fight on the tax -- sorry. fight on the debt issue in the next fight because there's a debt ceiling fight left to come. if they cannot get a win out of this, if this deal collapses, there is two moves the white house will have. one, they are starting to rebuild the relationship with
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the business community and i would expect the white house to call on ceos to pressure congress to either pass this bill now -- i wouldn't be surprised if they were calling ceos now pressuring them to pass this or get something passed before thursday and if not that, then play the blame game because already someone has said to me inside, if this goes down, then house republicans have pushed us off the fiscal cliff. now, we've fallen -- we're over the cliff but the blame is -- will be shifted to republicans for permanently putting us there, wolf. >> that's going to be a huge, huge political impact. we'll see what happens. but the news right now from the house of representatives, very, very dramatic. looks like they are not, at least the republicans, going to go along with the republican colleagues from the senate and pass this legislation as would have sent it to the president for a signature, they would have resolved it.
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folks could have moved on but it doesn't look like that is happening right now. jessica, thanks very much. could the latest standstill in the fiscal cliff come back to haunt republicans? we're talking about that in our strategy session. lot of breaking news happening right here in "the situation room." i need you. i feel so alone. but you're not alone. i knew you'd come. like iould stay away. you know i can't do this without you. you'll never have to.
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all right. we're following breaking news. let's discuss what is going on in our strategy session. the democrat stick strategist, maria cordova and ross, who often writes from a conservative perspective. >> now and again. >> what do you make of what is going on? a lot of republicans are telling me that they are worried if this whole deal collapses and
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millions see their tax rates go up, they are going to blame republicans. >> that seems pretty likely. i don't think there really is a clear argument for republicans in the house not passing the bill. what republicans are thinking, they look at the negotiations that have happened over the last 48 hours, they say, we got the president of the united states to break his campaign pledge on the $250,000 tax threshold, take it up to 4 had 00, 450,000 and we didn't make huge concessions. i mean we. they weren't in the room negotiating. so i think their theory is, we pushed, obama bent, let's ping-pong the bill back and let's see if they bend a little more. i think what that misses is an immense pressure, not democrats and republicans on the left that won't let them play ping-pong with the bill. >> can the democrats accept the
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little ping-pong right now in the next 24 hours? let's say the house passes the senate version with one amendment that calls for specific additional spending cuts and it goes to the senate, be do you think that's doable? >> it depends on what those spending cuts are and i think that the leaders in the senate will look at it because i think the american people do deserve for leaders to be responsible and here's where i think the republicans are really going wrong on two front. this is so politically perilous for them. they lost the election in november because the american people didn't think that republicans understood what they are going through and if they are now the ones who are the architects of all of us going over the cliff and for millions of americans taxes to go up, that's going to be very bad news for them. the second thing is, if they think they are going to get a better deal, they better think again. because if nothing happens and you've talked about this today and come thursday at night, there's going to be a new congress with, guess what, more democrat crass, more democrats,
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more leverage. >> maybe they are thinking we can't get a better deal but if senate democrats were already willing to cave at 450,000, maybe they will cave if we go over the cliff, swear in a new congress, the house passes the bill with rates at 700,000, now i agree. >> that won't happen. >> the republicans in the house want. they are -- what they want is a lot more spending cuts. >> right. >> they want to deal with entitlement spending, domestic spending, not defense spending but they want to deal with spending. here's the question for both of you. how much trouble is john boehner in as the speaker of the house? >> i actually -- i actually don't think that john boehner is going to be in that much trouble this year. i don't think when his speakership comes up for a vote that he will be in trouble. i don't see anyone else lining up to take his job. >> perhaps in the last few hours
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we may have seen -- >> i just interviewed darrell issa and he says that he's with eric cantor. >> so that might be changing but i do think that john boehner has certainly lost control of his caucus. but frankly, they might want a weak leader because then they think they can control him. >> it's the second poke in the eye. he had plan b and now the pressure a lot of people got from the meeting at the white house, boehner said, it's up to the senate. let them pass something. if it's a bipartisan majority, we'll bring it to the house and vote on it up or down. >> you were talking about the political damage republicans could sustain and there are about 50 or 60 republicans sitting thinking, yes, i'm really worried about the political damage from going over the cliff but there are a a larger number of republicans in safe seats who are worried about being primaried and who think
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that they need to worry about being stood up to president obama. that's the problem. >> all of the democrats, all of the democrats are united in the house and they vote for the senate version which won't -- assuming how many republicans do you actually need to get to that 217? it's now 217 because there's an absent seat instead of 218. how many more republicans would you need? >> probably not that many. >> what we're hearing is you have between 20 and 50 republicans on board and that would be enough. >> that would be enough? >> if i'm a house democrat, why would i do that? okay, you could say for the good of the country at economy. >> you care about the country. >> but at a certain point, i think this is a situation where -- >> you're doing it to prevent hundreds and millions of americans from paying more in taxes. >> but they aren't going to pay more in tacks if we p spend a week fighting this out. and if he democrats are right about the political calculus, the democratic party has an incentive to fight this out for a week and the long-term benefit
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for their party and theoretically for the party might be greater. sometimes you need to let these fights play out, right? >> that may happen depending on what happens if they and mend this and it is the poison pill. the majority of our leaders in congress don't want to be the ones to make millions of americans pay more in taxes but what drives me nuts, wolf, about what republicans are complaining and saying that there's no spending cuts in it, they had so many opportunities to do a grand bargain with millions and millions of dollars of spending cuts. they couldn't get it together. so at the end of the day, we knew about a week ago that this deal was not going to include any spending cut. so for now for them to complain that this doesn't have any spending cuts for me is a way to drive a wedge into this z players plenty of blame to go around. the simpson/bowles, the recommendation that he accepted, that was a moment in history
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when they say he should have grabbed, looking back. >> look, i have to say, the lesson right now is that house republicans want to fight this out to the absolute bitter end and, you know, again sometimes there's something to be said. i know we like to talk a lot about the importance of bipartisanship but you get better outcomes from both parties if you let the fights play out. >> if you think this is a big fight, wait until the debt ceiling comes back. >> i think lessons in cliff lessons and rock climbing, because that's what we're going to be dealing with. >> a genital fiscal slope. >> guys, thanks very much. >> thanks, wolf. we're also following other news, including hillary clinton's condition. we'll have the latest on her blood clot and when she could be released from the hospital and what it could mean for her political future. stand by. again? it's embarrassing it's embarrassing!
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news of a blood clot raising questions about her future right now. she was already expected to step aside as secretary of state but she's a leading presidential
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contender 2016 if she chooses to run again. so how will her current health crisis potentially impact her future? cnn's mary snowis joining us. what's the latest on her condition? >> wolf frk we haven't heard from her doctors since they let us know that she was making excellent progress. an expert in blood clots said if unrelated the clots could be serious but the fact that it's being addressed is a good sign. on the day when sect hillary clinton was supposed to be getting ready to go back to work, she spent another day at the hospital. doctors discovered a blood clot in the vein between the brain and skull behind the right ear. they say she did not suffer a stroke or neurological damage. a doctor not involved in
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secretary clinton's case has treated cases like hers and calls them rare. what does this mean for the future? >> i think her future is as good as her past. she should recover from this. will be treated with blood thinners. i can't say how long because i don't know all of the circumstances but certainly minimum of three to six month, may well could be longer. in some rare cases, could be lifelong but many patients are on blood thinners for life. she should recover fully and get back to work. >> reporter: and that work is grueling. him clinton has traveled to more than 100 countries as secretary of state and logged close to one million miles during that time. while travel is something to watch out for among people who suffer blood clots, most in the leg veins which she had in the late 1990s, he doesn't see her travel being an impediment.
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>> it's probably more with the blood clot she had in her leg 12 years ago. they are always at risk of developing another one and the risk is greater than if they never had a blood clot. i think travel is potential leanne issue for the secretary but i would imagine that when she travels she's not sitting in a coach seat cramped up and sitting still. >> reporter: secretary clinton is planning to step down as president obama's second term begins. while she has repeatedly said she's not interested in running for president again, she is viewed as the democratic favorite in 2016 should she choose to run. doctors familiar with these types of rare clots say it's unlikely that it developed as a side effect as clinton's recent concussion. some speculate it could be linked to an underlying condition or to dehydration. wolf? >> we wish her, of course, a speedy, speedy recovery.
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mary, thanks very much. other news we're following, including iran kicking off the new year with a major show of military force. what this latest move could mean for a critical international waterway. welcome to chevy's year-end event. so, the 5.3-liter v8 silverado can tow up to 9,600 pounds? 315 horsepower. what's that in reindeer-power? [ laughs ] [ pencil scratches ] [ male announcer ] chevy's giving more. now through january 2nd, no monthly payments until spring
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we'll get back to the breaking news fiscal cliff drama in a moment. let's get to another important story, iran. another show of military force mainly because of where the action is taking place. chris lawrence has the details. explain what is going on, chris. >> well, these are just exercises, wolf, but you're right, the key is where iran is firing these missiles. 17 pill general barrels travel through the strait of hormuz. that's in a very narrow waterway that iran has threatened to blockade before. iran started the new year showing off new technology, including an upgraded missile designed to destroy missiles.
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helicopters, fighters and drones. >> this tells me more about their willingness to keep the pressure up, stay in a somewhat inflamed and confrontational mode. >> the test didn't dramatically move the ball for iran's technology but it sends a warning to the nations in the region regarding any attempted strike on iran's nuclear facility. >> short term they may actually like the idea telling us that they can escalate, to make us think it's not just a pinprick strike but the beginning of a war and may feel that they can whether it's the united states, qatar or kuwait. >> iran's missiles were becoming more accurate, more versatile and more deadly than ever. but for years u.s. intelligence officials circled the year 2015. they believe by then iran could test an intercontinental
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interballistic missile with a range of 3500 miles. >> this would give them the ability to attack a number of european countries and give them political influence in a crisis that they might otherwise not have. >> but the latest report from congress was released in the last few weeks. it reand setses that estimate and concludes iran is not likely to test an icbm in the next few years. so why is that? the report says that economic sanks are making it harder and harder for iran to acquire the political component and materials that they need. and the iranians are not getting the help they need from russia and china who whose support has been dropping over the past ten years, wolf. >> important story we're watching. chris lawrence over at the pentagon, thank you. north korea kim jong undelivering the first new year's address in nearly two
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decades. mary snow has the latest. what's the latest, mary? >> kim jong-un is calling for an all out struggle and an easing of tensions with sourk but the young leader pralsed the controversial laurvelg. it was condemned by the united nations. we'll have much more on all of this just ahead in our next hour. here in the u.s., many same-sex couples in maryland are ringing in the new year with wedding bells thanks to the new law that went into effect at midnight. and we're pleased to announce the newest edition to the situation room family. he was born friday night to our very own producer melanie buck parks and our studio operator
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chris parks. he weighed in at 8 pounds, 13 ounces and joins his very excited big sister harper. all are happy, healthy, and we wish them only the very best. the great way to start the new year. >> beautiful, beautiful kids. lovely, lovely kids can. the newest members of our wolf pack here in "the situation room." thanks so much for that. we're following breaking news here on capitol hill. house republicans are meeting right now to decide whether or not to amend the senate's fiscal cliff bill. the ramifications could be enormous for you. we're going there live. and straight ahead also, colorado's first pop club opens its doors. we're going inside. club opens its doors. we're going inside. t club opens its doors. we're going inside. i gave birth to my daughter on may 18th, five days later, i had a massive heart attack.
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the new year marks the first pot club in denver. >> it's 4:20 p.m., be traditional times for stoners to light up. club 64 is open for business. the club gets its name for amendment 64 which legalized
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recreational use until marijuana. this is a private club opened only to members who pay a $30 fee. >> you cannot buy marijuana from the club. but you can come in here, you can share marijuana or bring in marijuana. >> the culmination of a long-fought battle. >> this club is what the voters of colorado finally wanted. they wanted adults to be able to get together and exercise our freedoms together. >> gabrielle is a charter member of club of 4. >> up until today, we had to be secretive about who we were and how we lived our lives and we've been able to talk more openly and they've accepted it and that's great. >> they hope club 64 can serve as a model for the rest of the world. >> let denver serve as a beacon of hope for those who know what true freedom is really about.
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>> it will be another year before selling marijuana can open here. it's unclear how the industry will operate since it remains illegal according to federal law. they are waiting for guidance from the city attorney and district attorney to see what, if any, action should be taken. but for the club owner, club 64 is the start of a major change. >> i've had so many dreams for this industry but i see it as a place where people can come together and enjoy each other's company and really be open about the use of can any bus just like they are with alcohol. >> and she says there's nothing to be afraid of. >> the worst that can happen is we'll probably be closed sooner than most bars because everyone will want to go to sleep. >> colorado isn't the only state that legalized marijuana. back in november, washington approved pot use for people 21 and older. and you're in "the situation room." happening now, could the fiscal
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cliff deal approved by the senate turn into a no deal? key republicans still oppose even as a new deadline threatens to send both sides back to square one. also, even if this deal is finalized, a lot of tough issues have been kicked down the road where another huge cliff is looming. and hillary clinton is being treated with blood thinners for a dangerous clot in her head. i'll speak with a vascular surgeon with the risks that she faces. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer and you're in "the situation room." as the old saying goes, it ain't over until it's over. the fiscal cliff deal approvaled
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overwhelmingly faces strong opposition by house republicans. in fact, the number two house republican leader says he does not support it and now a new deadline threatens to send it back to the drawing board. and dana bash is on capitol hill. dana, what is the latest as far as the republican majority in the house is concerned? >> reporter: the latest, wolf, is that republicans will reconvene and have a second meeting in 15 minutes. down this hall, house republican leaders are still huddling but they announced that they are going to call republicans back together. perhaps that is because they have an idea of the the game plan that they want to pursue after they heard for about an hour and a half this afternoon from their rank and file by all accounts there certainly is a lot of interpret pi dags and voting to simply approve what the senate passed last night not only overwhelmingly, 90% of the
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senate voted for it, but it passed overwhelmingly among the fellow republicans. again, the percentage is about 90% of senate republicans voted in favor of this plan to effectively make sure that as you saw in many press releases, 99% of americans keep their tax cuts in place. they don't see a tax increase. so that's the latest of what happens in that meeting. i talked to some republicans who say that they still believe it's possible that they can vote tonight and what seems to be the open question is whether or not the vote will be on the bill that the senate passes and also on an amendment to answer some of the house republican concerns, the biggest of which is that there aren't enough spending cuts or perhaps the cuts that they have in there aren't the appropriate kind. some call them game mix. maybe that's something that they will try to tweak. and then it becomes the question, what happens?
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if they tweak something or change something, it's going to have to go back to the senate and leaders don't seem to be in a mood to bring their people back to change something that 90% of their members voted on. >> are they even in town? a lot of them have left washington, d.c., assuming this whole thing had been resolved. >> reporter: you know, they are actually going to have to be here in two days because the new congress is going to be sworn in on thursday. my understanding is that there was some kind of quiet talk about people not going too far. primarily for that reason but regardless it doesn't seem to be in their desire right now, let's put it that way, to bring them back. in fact, one democratic source said we're not going to sit around and wait because these republicans can't take yes for an answer. as you can imagine, there's a lot of animosity going on right now. >> and if there's no resolution by thursday, that's when the new senate and new house are both sworn in, the 113th congress.
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they start from scratch. the bills passed in the last few days, they can come up again but they basically have to start at the beginning and come up with a new plan because there will be new members at the house and the senate. >> exactly. >> dana, don't go too far away. the white house tried to pull out all stops. they managed to do that but can they save the agreement as it appears to be floundering in the house of representatives. let's bring in jessica yellin. so what's the thinking over at the white house, jessica? >> reporter: well, clearly, wolf, they are mystified and the general sense is there is no love losts, as we well known, between this end of pennsylvania avenue and the leadership in the house republican conference. but they feel that body never fails to snatch defeat near the jaws of victory and that it could be happening again. there's a sense that democrats
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in general have been very confident and pleased with where the deal has been and they have not wanted to crow about it too much today for fear that that would alienate republicans or in some way tank the deal or sour it or in any way jinx it and it was going to happen today, and then it would be done and now the momentum seems to be shifting. there is not a lot of white house can do. the president does not have a relationship with speaker boehner. doesn't have really one with eric cantor to make much of an effect there. and they sort of have to watch and wait. if it were on the floor, everybody here was saying they believe it will pass with the democratic votes. they know they have the votes to do that but at this point they
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are shrugging their shoulders. wolf, if it goes down for any reason, there's no question that the political guns will come out. that the house republicans will take enormous heat for, quote, sending the nation over the fiscal cliff and it will be a wrenching battle from here to the debt fight. you can count on that. >> we know, jess sa, the president came out and spoke yesterday asking the senate to pass it and the senate did, including the house republican leader mitch mcconnell all supporting it. >> reporter: no, not that i've been made aware of and i don't think he would. yesterday's speech was directed at democrats. as you remember, his speech did
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not go over well with republicans and the last thing the white house would want now is for the president to do anything that could turn the blame on to the president for this deal going south. right now it's all clearly on the republicans and so he does not need to take the heat in any way. so i do not, pekt to see the president unless and until a bill goes to the floor, wolf. >> jessica, stay in touch with us because we want to know what's going on, obviously. thank you. as house republicans are quick to point out, there's a lot that didn't make it into the fiscal cliff bill and even if this works out, other potential battles lie ahead. cnn's tom foreman is joining us with a closer look at those battles. what are you seeing, tom? >> in the last hour we were looking at all of the things that the house republicans just hate, especially the budget hawks there. look out on the floor here. look at all of the different measures included here.
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if you look at this and you're a house republican who is very concerned about the budget, your fundamental complaint is that you see a lot of tax increases out here and almost no controls on spending which they think have to be part of the deal. but it goes beyond the deal that the senate approved last night. there are other meures still looming that those house republicans are concerned about. first up on the list, the debt ceiling. we hit our borrowing limit with the federal government here. we can only borrow so much money as thourzed by congress. think about it like your credit card company. if you want to borrow more, you have to ask for more. money can be shifted around for a couple of month. by late february, however, we're going to have to have this fight over the debt ceiling again and many of the budget hawks were already braced for that without this priming the pump. beyond that, what about the payroll tax cut in this was a 2% cut in your payroll tacks last
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year. almost every american enjoyed this. it took down their social security taxes, put a few extra dollars in their pockets. that expired at the end of last year, at the end of 2012. so many republicans are not necessarily thrilled oifr thatway because they could say that is a tax increase on the middle class. really it's not but certainly it's going to feel that way to a lot of people. what about the begin one? sequestration. remember, that's a long fancy world for a deal that both parties agreed to. they both said if they could not settle their budget differences by the end of 2012, there would be an automatic 10% cut on federal spending across all agencies. now as part of this senate deal, they've pushed that a couple more months down the road. that's another reason that the budget hawks and republican party are having a fit right now because they are saying in every way they think that this measure
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is about delaying all the pain and spending money now when spending, they think, has been the problem all along: wolf? >> good explanation, tom, in our virtual senate watching what is going on. thank you. the fiscal deal passed by the senate is now stalled in the house of representatives. is there room for further compromise? i'll speak about that and more with debbie wasserman schultz. she's also a congresswoman from florida. you see her there. she's standing by live. and hillary clinton is being treated for a blood clot in her head. i'll talk to a vascular surgeon about the dangers that could still lie ahead. [ female announcer ] how do you define your moment? the blissful pause just before that rich sweetness touches your lips. the delightful discovery,
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the senate compromise on the fiscal cliff was hard fought but passed overwhelmingly 89-8. the house republicans have put the deal in limbo. i spoke with republican congressman darrell issa in our last hour. >> i'm with eric cantor. i can't vote for it in its current form and for good reason. they failed to meet their obligation. their own stated obligation which was to bring us a balanced bill. >> let's discuss what is going on with chair representative debbie wasserman schultz of florida. congresswoman, thank you for joining us. >> hi, wolf. >> are you opened to amendments of what passed last night? >> i'm sorry. i missed that. i had someone else in my ear. >> are you opened to amendments to what passed the senate last night? >> no. because what this agreement was, be when the vice president and mitch mcconnell went into
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negotiations over the weekend, the deal was, and speaker boehner agreed to this, whatever they came up with, especially if it passed overwhelmingly, that there would be a straight up or down vote on the house floor. this is just unbelievable. it's understandable. okay. some republicans, maybe many republicans that don't support it. we have angst in our caucus, too. there should be an up or down vote. the republicans and democrats willing to vote for it should be combined and we'll see whether it passes. but to play game with whether tax rates go up, taxes go up on 98% of americans. look at what they are walking away from, potentially, wolf. this is a bill that prevents 98% of americans from having their tac taxes go up. it's a bill that prevents middle class taxes going up and it's a bill that makes sure we have a
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balanced approach. we have an extension of the american opportunity tax credit and the earned income tax credit and an extension of the child opportunity tax credit. are these things that the republicans actually want to allow to lapse? because that's what would happen. it would be devastating to the middle class. if they had republicans in their conference that won't vote for the bill, fine. we have democrats that probably won't vote for it either. but the bill needs a vote up or down on the house floor. >> did the speak are of the house john boehner agree that anything that passed with did divisive opportunity in the senate would come up without any opportunity for amendment and sit down and negotiation well mitch mcconnell. i'm sure he believed that he was negotiating on behalf of john
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boehner and not that there's a guarantee that republicans are going to support it. and passes the senate 89-8. and conservative moderate and progressive support and it needs to have a straight up or down vote on the house floor. we need to stop playing games and make sure that we stop jeopardizing the tax rates of the middle class where if we don't pass this bill or if we certainly don't take a vote on it, then 98% of americans are going to see a tax increase. that's from the republicans. >> what happen if there's no deal that the senate legislation, what happens then? what happens to tax rates in other words, how much time will
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there snb. >> i think it's very clear. if there are no deal. if they try to amendment this bill and send it back and it means we are going over the cliff. taxes increase on everyone regardless of income. if that's what the republicans want, it's a little baffling. we need to make sure that as we go through -- this is step one. down the road in two month when we deal with the sequester, the significant defense and domestic spending cuts, we need to make sure we address deficit reduction with a balanced approach to -- with revenue and spending cuts. but none of these solutions should be allowed to be balanced on the backs of the middle class and the republicans seem to think it's okay. that's what they are risking. it's incomprehensible, actually. >> how many of of your fellow
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democrats -- let's assume the senate bill comes up. >> right. not a member of congress, a labor secretary during the clinton administration, listen to what he told me yesterday. >> i think no deal is actually better than a bad deal. i would go over the fiscal cliff and then i would introduce legislation to provide a middle class tax cut and restore a lot of the spending cuts and the republicans would have to go along with it. i don't want to make the bush tax cut permanent up to $4850,000 a$485 $48450,000 and also i want the republicans to make a deal on the debt selling. >> how many members of what you call the progressive caucus in the house are with him saying no deal or this deal? >> no deal is perfect. there are things i don't like in the deal. i'll give you an example.
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with the medicare reimbursement rate, the pay fors. at the end of the day i know that i don't want taxes to go up on 98% of americans and 97% of small business owners. i know that we need to make a down payment on the beginning of a balanced approach to deficit reduction. i certainly know that we should -- that the american people spoke on election day and said that they are comfortable with letting tax rates rise for the wealthiest 2% of americans. really? the republicans are going to oppose a bill for people who make taxes that make more than $450,000 a year? i represent a fairly upper middle class district. folks at home are not ringing my phone off the hook saying, don't vote for this because they know that we've got to do something. they know that we've got to make a down payment on deficit reduction. they know that we've got to protect the middle class and we've got to focus on --
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let's -- what i haven't heard about in a couple of days are, our needs get back to the number one issues. creating jobs and getting this economy turned around. this is one of the first things that we have to do so we can move on aggressively towards that. >> bottom line, house republicans are meeting right now. they've just started a second meeting of the day. what do you anticipate will happen tonight? >> you know, i said earlier today, predicting what this group of republican and the house members will do is it certainly a challenge. i know that if -- from working with them as many years as i have, i know there are enough responsible republicans that there would be enough democrats and republicans that would pass that bill and send it to the president so we can prevent 98% of americans from having their tacks increased and we could get a handle on the deficit reduction problem. >> you think there's a disagreement between john boehner and eric cantor? >> you know, i don't know the
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internal workings of the republican leadership. it's hard for me to kpacharactee what this is. i know that they have tea partyiers in their conference that are separated from the reality, from the reality that most americans want us to work together and stop with the my way or the highway politics. wolf, i have to go home. i represent a liberal district. i'm going to have to dp fend it to my liberal constituents like i did when i voted for the debt ceiling deal that included a trillion dollars of only a spending cuts with no revenue at all. i have to go back and defend that as did my of my fellow democrat. republicans need to gather up their courage. they need to do what's right, strengthen their spines and come together and work with us so they can protect the middle class and move on. >> one final question.
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>> sure. >> marco rubio, your senator from florida, he was one of eight senators who voted again the deal last night. what does that say to you? >> it says to me that marco rubio is thinking about himself. that's what it says. not about what is best for the american people or floridians. >> all right. you said it. thank you, debbie wasserman schultz. thank you for joining us. >> thank you. >> appreciate it. we're going to have much more on the breaking news coming up. the drama unfolding in the house of representatives right now. we'll see what is going on. stand by for that. also, other important news happening right now, including north korea young new leader striking fresh notes as he rings in the new year. a televised address the nation rare overtures to south korea. what does this all mean? brian todd standing by. aww man. [ male announcer ] returns are easy with free pickup from the u.s. postal service. we'll even drop off boxes if you need them. visit usps.com pay, print, and have it picked up for free. any time of year. ♪
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snoof and there they are together. walking in together to this republican meeting that is happening. what to do as far as the fiscal cliff legislation passed by the senate overwhelmingly in the middle of the night, what to do with that legislation should it come up for a vote as is or
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should there be amendments which could seriously set back the entire process? they only have another day or so. otherwise, taxes are going up for tens and millions of americans, almost all americans who pay federal income tax will see a tax hike unless they work out a deal very, very soon. stand by for more on that. there's other news we're following including reverie to horror at the moments of one new year's eve celebration. mary snow is monitoring that and other stories in "the situation room." what do you have here? >> ivory coast ministry is offering condolences to people who were involved in a stampede. 49 people were injured and two seriously. it's unclear what triggered the stampede.
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a canadian immigration officer who helped spear six u.s. diplomats out of iran in 1980 is being remembered by his family as a rear canadian hero. he was 88 years old. sheardown was part of a covert operation with the cia. the 2012 film argo was loosely based on a real life episode. his role was omitted from the film. and no one was hurt by spirit airlines had a bit of a rocky end to 2012. a flight from atlanta to ft. lauderdale, it flipped the tail of a parked plane with its wing tip. the u.s. airways plane, though, also an airbus, is now grounded. in case you haven't heard.
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hugh hefner is married once again. he tied the knot with a 26-year-old playmate, chrrystal harris, was married on new year's eve. the pair rekindled their relationship last year. this is hefner's third marriage. wolf? >> congratulations to the newlyweds. thanks very much. what lies ahead for hillary clinton? she's being treated for a dangerous blood cloth.
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>> hillary clinton remains in a
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new york city hospital being treated with blood thinners to dissolve a clot in her head. her doctors say they are confident the secretary will make a full recovery but it is a dangerous condition. joining us now is dr. david deaton, a vascular surgeon at georgetown university hospital. doctor, thanks very much for coming in. we know the best-case scenario is she gets out of there in a few days, resumes her lifestyle. what's the worst case scenario? >> well, the worst case scenario for all of us is death. >> what do you mean when you say death? this is a life-threatening disease potentially? >> i'm referring to worst case. but in this case, it doesn't seem like there really is a bad case scenario because she doesn't seem to be presented with any neurological symptoms. this was a finding made on an
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imaging study which is different than if you are presented with neurological conditions. >> she is taking medication to deal with the clot. i understand that the medication, and correct me if i'm wrong, it doesn't necessarily directly make the blood clot go away but prevents it from getting bigger? >> that's correct. there's a class of drug that we use to actively break up clots but your body's own physiology has a way to break up clots and the medication that she is receiving coagulates the body. >> the worst case, if god for bit it went into her brain, then you've got major problems, neurological problems, potentially a stroke. you've got to monitor it pretty closely. how do you do that? >> remember, this is in the v veinus system. that's the primary complication from blood thinners or
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anti-coagulants. >> do they all work on the same way with every individual or does every individual have a sort of dna that works in a different way? >> well, that's the art of treating people with thrombotic problems, is that we are all different and that we have different background. the medication has to be regulated in a very different way based on the individual basis. >> do we know if this blood clot started -- i assumed desome people thought i was wrong, i assumed it started as a result of the head injury she suffered. she had a bad flu. she was dehydrated. she fainted, she fell, and she got a concussion and i assumed the concussion can led to this blood clot but other people are saying now maybe the stomach virus and dehydration led to the blood clot. in your experience, what would be the more logical cause of this blood clot? >> there's not usually a way to pin a cause and effect on a blood clot but certainly dehydration, any inflammatory
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state, any trauma such as a fall all can be contributing factors to a blood clot, including an under lying predisposition to blood clots. >> i know blood clots in the leg, the deep vein thrombosis that killed my friend david bloom during the war in iraq, he was in a sedentary sitting position inside an armored vehicle and she's on the plane a lot. she's got a little cabin there, can can move around a lot. she's not in a coach seat. >> well, it's an enormous health problem in the united states. 5 to $8 billion are spent on dealing with that problem. but it occurs because of dehydration. it's a come pli nation -- >> meaning -- >> just not moving. we depend on the muscles in our
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legs to push the muscles back in our heart. if we don't, the blood pools there and it's a classic setup. >> let's talk about recommendations to our viewers. they don't want blood clots in the legs, lungs, head, anyplace. what advice do you have for people watching right now? >> the classic situation and you may not get up and move around and that air has no humidity and you get to hydrate it particularly on longer flights. >> so you should drink a lot of fluid, even if it means getting up and going to the bathroom? >> whether they are riding in a car, military vehicle, and david bloom's case or an airplane. but generally speaking it's not an enormous problem. just move your leg muscles. >> make sure you're not
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dehydrated, move around a little bit and those are the best reasons -- >> right. when your legs are in the position, you need to move your legs around a little bit. >> bottom line, is your upbeat, you're encouraged by the statement that hillary clinton's doctors put out when they said secretary is making excellent progress, we are confident she will make a full recovery, that sounds good to you? >> everything we've been told leads us to believe she will have a full recovery with no problems or resulting from this event. >> because she did have a history of that one blood clot behind her knee years ago? >> yes, she will probably need to have a workup. if she has a predisposition to blood clots which a number of people in the u.s. have. it's not an uncommon condition and that changes the strategy for long-term therapy. >> doctor, thanks very much for coming in. >> absolutely. >> appreciate your expertise. don't leave yet. >> so here's a question. the world -- the health of a another world leader. the venezuelas are ushers in the
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world quietly on word that hugo chavez is suffering new complications from recent cancer surgery in cuba. rafael romo is joining us. what are you hearing about chavez's condition? >> wolf, venezuela officials are not being very specific about what the new complications are but say that the process of treating him is not without risks. so instead of ringing in the new year, they asked people to pray for chavez. a call for all toll pray for president chavez. we know that our prayers are accompanying hugo chavez. that's what he wants. he wants joy and optimism for the reality he's been fighting for. >> reporter: there were masses held for the president recovering from cancer surgery. traditional new year's celebrations and concerts to
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give people an opportunity to join the national call for prayer. it's a prayer, a universal love and planetary feeling for a good man, for a patriot, and somebody who gives of himself to his people. the mood has been somber among his supporters, especially speaking from havana on sunday, chavez's condition is delicate. >> translator: we were informed of new complications arising as a complication of respiratory infection. >> reporter: rumors of his failing health have spread like wildfire. he has sought to put an end to the frenzy on his twitter account he wrote, my fellow patriots, do not believe an ill-intentioned rumors. president chavez has spent the day calm and stable with his children next to him. the government has yet to inform the venezuela people what kind
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of cancer chavez is suffering from. >> chavez has wanted to keep this is a secret. he's succeeded in that and has been able to do that because he got treatment in cuba and the cubans are very good at keeping secrets and that was for him a high priority. >> chavez has not been seen in public and on prior occasions the socialist leader has not made any phone calls to state media to let people know about his medical condition. and before leaving for cuba, chavez left in all governing affairs. chavez is supposed to be inaugurated into a new term on january 10th but there's no indication yet from the government whether he'll be able to physically able to attend his own swearing in ceremony. wolf? >> what if chavez doesn't make the swearing in ceremony? what happens? >> it is a very important question, wolf.
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essentially he would have to name or his vice president currently would have to take over between the time right now and then. if he doesn't make it, then the president of the national assembly would have to call for elections won 30 days like any president but we may be looking at a constitutional crisis, wolf, because chavez's supporters say they will not accept any other president for venezuela. and north korea's young new president making a gesture for the new year. is he also making a similar gesture towards south korea? this is america.
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perhaps a new tone from north korea's young new leader. he goes public with a call for ending confrontation. what does he really mean? brian todd has been looking into this. lots at stake. >> not sure if he really means all this. we've heard these calls before from north korea. the fact that kim jong-un is making a gesture towards south korea after the rocket launch and other recent tensions may signal a new approach. happy new year from a novice
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young dictator. with public appearances and speeches like this one to ring in 2013. a stark change from his father who never once made a televised speech just issued a new statement for new year's. kim jong-un calling for an end to confrontation. he also made no mention of nuclear weapons and focused on economic process. he did vow to strengthen north korea's military. and praised the country's controversial long-range rocket launch last month. >> the other thing is, it really praises the military and it's hard to have a reformed economy. more resources are going into the military and better relations for south korea.
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that's why a trifecta doesn't added a up. >> behind the scenes to strengthen his hand with the military. >> he has purged a number of officials including the very senior-most military officials. unclear whether that means it's a weak and embattled kim jong-un or a very confident firmly in control kim jong-un who can help the generals from the power. >> and the personal history between his family and it's a history of tension. cold war conflict and even assassination attempts which makes kim jong-un's latest gesture all the more bizarre. >> the late president wants to reach out to north korea and pursue better relations. that's despite the fact that north korea under kim jong-un's
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grandfather tried to assassinate her father twice, one such attempt killing her mother. >> there are two generations with respective families but park is a pragmatist and i believe she will get on with improving relayings with north korea. >> north korea was calling her a fascist throughout her campaign but maybe a step is better than no step at all. >> he did not say if he was going to introduce reforms except to say that technology is the foundation. he also didn't give details on possibly stepping up agricultural and industrial output, which as you know from being there, that's what they he is ditly need. they are a starving country.
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>> maybe he's going to start something new. the syrians living january 1st is another day of violence and officials report more than 120 people were found dead just today. syrian refugees living along a camp in the turkish border is another day of survival. >> translator: life is okay. thank god. may god give everyone long life. he protects us from bashar the donkey. we are walking slowly. we are carrying herbs. it's delicious.
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god's gifts are plentiful. >> i must help these people. where is america? assad must go. must go. assad is killing these people. >> we are picking herbs. bar shar assad made us refugees. he killed two of my children.
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they destroyed our homes. i wish the world happy new year's and i hope by that time bashar assad will be gone and hope that we can go back to our children to our country to our families. >> translator: his birth was delayed. he has a neurological disease. here the doctors give us hope and that he will walk. what do you like to draw? >> translator: i everybody a happy new year. may god bless the rebels and save them and may god save my
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child, who's a rebel. >> joe duran, our photographer, put that together. if you would like to donate to syrian relief efforts, go to n cnn.com/impact. you'll find a full list of relief organizations, making a difference. you can impact your world. so how will the world's financial markets look at the struggle to finalize a fiscal cliff deal? cnn's richard quest is next. power down your little word game. i think your friends will understand. oh no, it's actually my geico app...see? ...i just uh paid my bill. did you really? from the plane? yeah, i can manage my policy, get roadside assistance, pretty much access geico 24/7. sounds a little too good to be true sir. i'll believe that when pigs fly. ok, did she seriously just say that? geico. just click away with our free mobile app.
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financial markets were closed for the new year holiday, but they'll start opening in just a couple of hours in asia, followed by europe and then of course wall street. here's cnn's richard quest with a closer look at how the markets will view the effort to try to finalize this fiscal cliff deal. >> wolf, borrowed time at best. that's how the markets will probably react to the fiscal cliff deal. yes, to be sure, the worst effects have been put off, but only for a while. there's still those spending cuts. they've been kicked down the road by two months. there's the $16.4 trillion debt ceiling, which has to be raised.
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that's been kicked off a couple of months. and then you've got the appropriations, the whole budget process, which will come back before the spring is over. so time and again, the markets in europe are saying we've seen how difficult it is to do these deals. look at what happened with greece, with bailouts, with sovereign debt crises, with the euro zone. it was only at the very last possible minute that compromise was reached, that the big bargain was done. and if you look at the united states, even at a time of, a moment when really both sides needed to do more than the minimum, the markets will be saying they failed to do so. so, yes, they will be relieved, there won't be any immediate reaction, but the markets are certainly putting the politicians on notice that the budget mayhem can't continue. wolf? >> good notice. richard, thank you. off an island in alaska right now, a crippled oil rig is
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running aground. it's carrying diesel fuel, oil, and hydraulic fluid, and the weather is working against recovery. we'll have an update.
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an oil drilling barge is
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grounded off an island in southern alaska and a fares storm is hindering recovery efforts onboard. diesel fuel, lube oil, and hydraulic fuel. no leaks have been detected and teams are assembling to tackle any environmental damage. cnn's paul vercammon has an update. >> reporter: high winds and huge waves pounded the drilling rig off kodiak as it was being towed. the coast guard evacuated it over the weekend. three crew members suffered minor injuries on shell support vessels. >> this guy just below the cabin. >> about ten seconds out until the next swell. >> coast guard companies report it's grounded on an uninhabited island after being set adrift late monday night. they said the crew of the tug boat alert was ordered to cut loose the cullic for their safety in extreme weather. the evacuation and grounding of the cullic comes after sharp criticism from environmental groups and some eskimo leaders that shell's exploratory
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drilling in the arctic is too risky. the mayor of point hope in the arctic circle expressing concerns to cnn this summer. >> look at "exxon valdez," look at the gulf of mexico, look at all the different things. yeah, they said nothing would happen. you know, anything can happen. >> shell says it won't begin actually extracting oil for at least a dece, not with exploratory rigs like the cullic, but with cutting edge super structures built to withstand the harshest conditions. the kulluk is not filled with oil for sale, but officials say the now grounded kulluk does have about 150,000 gallons of fuel on board, mostly diesel, for operating machinery. the officials say no sheen has been seen, suggesting the kulluk has not leaked fuel. but eskimo activist carolyn canon, one of shell's toughest critics, says she fears there will be a diesel spill from the
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kulluk that could harm sea and wildlife. >> it's a scary thought, because people rely on that food. happening now, breaking news. the senate's fiscal cliff fix is facing an uncertain future in the house, exposing a riff between republican leaders. we're watching world markets for reaction this hour. will all the uncertainty sends stocks into a nosedive? and questions about hillary clinton's future. what her blood clot could mean for a possible white house bid. i'm wolf blitzer, you're in "the situation room." we're following breaking news on capitol hill. house republicans meeting for the second time today. they're trying to decide what to do with the so-called fiscal cliff bill, passed by the senate in the early hours of the new year. you can see the majority leader, eric cantor, and the speaker, john boehner. they're walking in a meeting together, but they apparently are divided when it comes to the bill, with kantor saying flatly,
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he won't vote for it. house republicans could decide to amend it. that would certainly only complicate matters, possibly even put a deal further out of reach. our senior congressional correspondent, dana bash, has been following the breaking news for us. she's beginning our coverage this hour. what's the very latest you're hearing about the fate of what the senate passed last night? >> the latest is that house republicans are still in this me meeting, as you said, the second of the day. and the house rules chair, who is in charge of making sure that things go on to the floor, is probably the easiest way to say it, he just told me that there will be a series of votes soon, not on the fiscal cliff, but here's why that's interesting. it's because leaders, whoever they are, when they run the house, tend to use that time to whip votes, to try to see where the votes are on a particular issue, because all the members are on the floor. so it may be that that will be a time when they're going to try to really gauge, beyond just
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this meeting, where they're talking at each other, but where they can really have face to face, mano y mano discussions about where this caucus is on votes, where it is just generally on the senate bill, or where it is, what we've been talking about, what many house republicans want, which is perhaps an amendment to add some spending cuts to this, because they don't believe that there are enough spending cuts or maybe the right kind of spending cuts. so that's what we're going to be watching over the next hour or so, to see what happens after we come out of that next meeting. but i've gotten strong indications that the house speaker gets it. he understands that if the house somehow drops the ball on this, whether it is deciding not to vote today and the markets open tomorrow and the markets tank, or votes and amends this in a way that the senate just says, we're not touching it, and the market tanks, house republicans will get blamed, blamed in a very big way, in a way that could affect the economy in an adverse way, to say the least.
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so he's trying to corral this very difficult caucus, which he's been trying to do for two years, to figure out the best way to make sure that they understand that he's hearing their complaints and their concerns, but at the same time, doing what he and other leaders clearly think needs to be done, to make sure that the economy is in the right place, that people's taxes, at least for the most part, are in the right place, and so on. >> the minority leader, the democratic leader, nancy pelosi, she tweeted about that so-called up or down vote in the house. namely whether or not the house would take up the senate measure that passed in the middle of the night, if it were to come up, and that's a huge if, dana, if the senate legislation, as is, without any amendments, were to come up for a vote in the house of representatives, would it pass? >> i was talking to a democratic -- a member of the democratic leadership who said that they have probably about 150 members. so you wouldn't need that many republicans given how big their caucus is, in order to get the votes to pass it.
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so i think it's safe to say that it is likely that it would pass, but as you know, and as nancy pelosi knows very well, because she ran the house for four years, that is one of the big benefits of being in the house majority. they decide what goes to the floor for the most part, and they decide how it goes to the floor. and as we've been talking about, a big issue, politically, for the house speaker isn't necessarily whether to bring this up, but how to bring it up and make sure that his own members understand that he gets their concerns. because if he just put this on the floor and said, okay, there's a vote, and didn't give members a chance to talk about the issues that they have and to talk about -- to voice their problems, then he would have a very big political problem on his hands. and by the way, it's just two days before there is an election for him to become the house speaker. again, he's got to be voted house speaker again in the new congress. >> and that's a question as well. let's say the house of representatives tonight or tomorrow morning were to pass the senate bill, but were to
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attach amendments for more spending cuts. what are the chances the senate would reconvene and deal with it, pass what the house passed and allow the president to sign it into law? >> reporter: well, the senate just adjourned moments ago. harry reid, the senate majority leader, just adjourned until noon tomorrow. so nothing would happen until noon tomorrow. but the senate, the democratic sources are saying that -- and they are being very quiet. they are not answering our obvious question, which is, what would you do if you got something that was amended. they're doing that on purpose. they don't want to sort of rock the boat. they don't want to give any sort of sense of yay or nay to house republicans to give anybody an excuse, basically. so they're being very, very quiet. but knowing the temperature over there, the fact that they feel pretty good about the fact that they passed this with not just a few republicans, two, three, four, but with 40 out of 45 republicans, 80, excuse me, 90% of the republican caucus in the senate voted for this, they feel
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no compunction, i don't think, to feel the need to take this up if the house changes it. they really understand that the house republicans will take the blame. >> let's see what the house of representatives does in the next few hours. dana, thank you. our chief white house correspondent, jessica yellin, has been watching all of this unfold. she's joining us now. republicans, jessica, they're concerned there simply aren't enough deficit savings in the bill that passed the senate last night. and indeed, the congressional budget office says the bill will add, not reduce, but add to the nation's debt. what's the reaction at the white house? >> reporter: wolf, the congressional budget office's numbers can be a little confusing, actually. because the truth of the matter is, the congressional budget office finds that it will increase the deficit by $3.9 trillion over ten years, but that's only when you take into account the fact that we have gone over the fiscal cliff. that increase in the deficit
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assumes that all americans have lost their tax cut, that the senate bill puts that tax cut back into place for 98% of americans, and all that revenue is being sucked out of government coffers. now, if you go back one day and remeasure this same bill against the policy we had in place yesterday, when the bush tax cuts were in place, it finds that this bill actually decreases the deficit by $650 billion to $725 billion. a big difference, wolf. >> so how closely are the folks over at the white house behind you watching the latest republican meetings? what's going on in the house of representatives? >> very, very closely, wolf. they are watching, they are waiting. and they are frustrated. there's not exactly surprise that this is taking so long, because they're used to being i
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vated, both ways, with the house of representatives and the leadership there. the leadership often frustrated with the white house. and, you know, confident that if it gets to the floor, they will have the votes, it will pass. and there is some confidence that it will be before the night ends. but they're also sort of waiting and twiddling their thumbs. earlier today, vice president biden, after he went up to the hill and spoke to house democrats made a lunch run. the white house mess here isn't open, so he ran out to a sandwich shop to get some food for his staff. here, one of our producers had a chance to talk to him. >> mr. vice president, are we going to avoid the fiscal cliff. what did you say? i'm sorry. >> i hope so. i think so. >> reporter: now, i do know that if for any reason this deal collapses, you can expect full-frontal accusations from democrats that the republicans
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have sent the nation over the cliff. it is well-known here that the futures markets open in less than 30 minutes. perhaps it will take a market event for a bill to pass, who knows? but they are watching very closely, wolf. >> certainly are. could be another long night for all of us. thanks, jessica. thanks very much. putting politics aside, what does it all mean for you? cnn's tom foreman is here with the real-world impact of this huge debate unfolding in washington. tom, what do taxpayers who are watching us right now, what do they need to know? >> well, you know, wolf, we've been watching it from our first of all senate shop here all day today, trying to figure out how and if the plan that was concocted here can survive, and i think it's coming down to three pillars, wolf, as to whether or not this plan can become the law here. first of all, can the house republicans get past their sense that what was passed here last night was essentially a series
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of tax increases with no real emphasis on spending cuts. that's very hard for them to get past, because they think that's so antithetical as to what they think it will take to deal with the deficit, which will help all taxpayers. secondly, they're going to be asking themselves, what does this do to the future negotiations on other issues that they're very concerned about. the debt ceiling, on two months, new negotiations on that. how much the government can borrow and what it will cost to pay it back. sequestration, there were supposed to be automatic spending cuts if this budget deal isn't worked out by the end of the year. now that's been pushed down the road. that's the second pillar of what they're considering. and the third, what does this do to normal people out there, what can they expect? if, in fact, the senate plan goes through as it's written right now and it's approved, the tax policy center has some estimates on what it's going to mean to normal taxpayers out there. if you make up to $200,000, your
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income tax isn't really going to change at all. you are going to pay more in payroll tax. remember, last year we were enjoying a payroll tax deduction, a payroll tax holiday in this country. that has now expired. that extra $20, $30, $40, whatever it was based on your income that you had each month to pay on an extra tank of gas or the movies, that's going away, because the payroll tax holiday is over. but that's up to $200,000, not a great big change. let's look a little bit higher here. if you go from $200,000 to $500,000, the income tax change actually goes down about $75, because only a portion of that group goes above that $450,000 level for couples that would have a greater increase. everybody else benefits more. payroll tax, same thing for this group, they're going to pay a little bit more on that, and there'll be a cap on personal deductions for the people in the upper end of that group. so basically, below $500,000 really very little impact on anyone. let's go above it and you see the first real impact.
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$500,000 to $1 million a year. the average income tax increase this coming year for that group is going to be about $6,700, if the senate plan goes through as approved so far. they also have the payroll tax increase and their personal deductions will be capped and beyond the cap, obviously, they're gone. and once you go over $1 million a year, if the president wanted to go after the people who make a lot of money, well, this does it. over $1 million, the average income tax increase for that group is about $123,000 extra each year paid in income tax. but i do want to point out something, wolf. very important here -- that's a big group. people who make just over $1 million, they're not going to pay nearly that much. and people who make tens of millions may pay a lot more. but if it goes, as it's written right now, that's the first read on what it's going to cost, folks. wolf? >> good explanation, tom. thanks very, very much. i want to immediately go back to dana bash up on capitol hill. she's getting some more
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information about what the republicans might be doing. what are you learning, dana? >> reporter: wolf, remember, you and i talked just a little while ago about the fact that generally the process that leaders in the house use to try to whip votes is to call other votes, to talk to members face-to-face. and that is exactly what is happening. what just happened in this meeting, which is still going on, is that the house speaker, we are told, presented his members with two options. the first option is to add a pang of spending cuts, an amendment, to the senate will. but what they are going to do is they are going to first whip it. meaning they're going to make sure that there are the 218, or maybe 217, depending on who's voting, but that a majority of votes exist before they even add that. if they do find those votes, the house speaker said that they will take a vote on that tonight, as part of the senate bill, and send it back to the senate. but what's very interesting here is, that as part of presenting that option, we are told that
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the speaker made very clear to his rank and file republican members that there are risks in that strategy, and there's no guarantee the senate will act on it. if they don't find that there are 218 votes, mean fg that reading between the lines message that he clearly sent to them got through to enough of them, then they will take a vote, just on the senate bill, up or down vote, no amendments, and it will be done. and all of this they're going to figure out tonight. >> so we've got another few hours to go before we know what's going on. by the way, dana, we checked earlier in the day with a clerk of the house. this current 112th congress. apparently there's a vacant seat in the house, so i think the magic number is 217 right now as opposed to 218, which is normally the number you need for majority. >> reporter: that's right. 217 right now, but it also depends on the members voting, which is why i said that. there are a lot of people who are retiring, who may not even be here.
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>> so it could be less. >> reporter: exactly. >> we'll watch the roll call, as we always watch these roll calls, to see when they decide to do. no decision yet. we'll stay in close touch with you. dana bash, doing an excellent job for all of us. who are the winners, who are the losers so far in this bruising political battle? we'll take a closer look at that, stand by. and the serious question about hillary clinton's future raised by the health crisis she's facing right now. we'll have the latest on the blood clot in her head. your premium with this thing.ety i thought state farm didn't have all those apps? where did you hear that? the internet. and you believed it? yeah. they can't put anything on the internet that isn't true. where did you hear that? [ both ] the internet. oh look. here comes my date. i met him on the internet. he's a french model. uh, bonjour. [ male announcer ] state farm. more mobile than ever. get to a better state.
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. republicans in the house of representatives, they're meeting right now. they're trying to figure out what to do as far as the senate legislation that passed overwhelming last night to avert that so-called fiscal cliff. let's get the latest on where
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the republicans are moving right now. joining us, a republican congressman from ohio, steve latourette is joining us. congressman, thanks very much for coming in. >> good to see you. >> i know you've been catching closely what's going to happen. what's your sense? where are we going in the next few hours. >> the house will go into session in the next 15 minutes to vote on a serious of very important matters, naming post offices all across the country. but we will use that time, the whip will use that time to find out where the conference is and a couple of different proposals. dana's reporting is right on the money. she has the proposals identified, and then at that moment in time, the leadership will make a decision as to which version to put on the floor later this evening. one that would have some spending cuts and the other would be just an up or down vote on the senate-passed package. >> if there's just an up or down vote on what the senate passed last night, 89-8, overwhelmingly passed in the senate, let's say that comes up without any
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amendments and 150 democrats vote in favor. let's say 150 democrats, you need 67 republicans. are there 67 republicans, you included, who would vote in favor of it? >> well, i can count myself. i would vote in favor of it. and i think there's a growing sense that, you know, nobody's singing kenny rogers, but you do have to know when to hold them and when to fold them. we've been beaten in this fight. >> they're walking away. hold on a second. i see the speaker walking past the cameras. they've broken up that meeting, apparently. they've just left. you saw the speaker and other members, they're walking out. i assume we're going to get more information momentarily. but go ahead. sorry for interrupting your thought. >> that's okay. i think we've been whooped in this round. i would like to see spending cuts. this bill actually spends more money. but the choice as republicans we have now is do we sort of push this to the next level and make sure that taxes go up for, you know, 99% of americans. and that's really not a good
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choice to have. >> i guess i'm sort of confused right now. what has a better chance, and you know the house of representatives, you've served there for a long time, you're retiring right now. this is going to be one of your final votes. what has a better chance of passing? a clean bill, the bill that passed the senate last night, or amendments with more spending cuts, which would throw the legislation back to the senate and maybe disrupt it completely? >> well, that's the dilemma we find ourselves in. and it's probably the senate bill has the better shot, because if they put on the floor an amendment to the senate bill, it's going to have to pass with only republican votes. we've been a little vote challenged in this congress, in terms of getting 217, 218 of our members to row in the same direction. but you do have, then, on the straight up or down vote, on the senate bill, you do have, i would trust, a majority of the democrats and i think you can get enough republican votes to pass this thing. >> to pass the senate version. >> sure. >> that passed last night.
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here's something, i'm still a little confused, i get conflicting information. did the speaker john boehner promise that whatever passed the senate, if it was a bipartisan majority, he would let that come up, as is in the house, or did he hold out the notion that there could still be amendments? >> no, he always said that if the senate sent us something, we would do what's in regular order, and either vote on it, up or down, amend it, or reject it. he never said, we're just going to have a straight up or down vote on the senate bill, he said, we're going to decide what to do with it, and that's the subject of the meeting that's just been concluded. >> because you know a lot of democrats and republicans in the senate right now, they say if you send back a new version with amendments, more spending cuts, or whatever new language, they're not even going to consideri consider it in this congress. they may have to wait until the next congress. who knows what the economic dislocations of that could be, when the markets open tomorrow. people are nervous right now. hundreds of millions of americans are going to see a tax increase if you guys don't get your act together. >> well, you know, and that's
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exactly the calculation that's going on. i would say -- i wouldn't throw all the burden on john boehner and the house of representatives. this bill that they gutted and sent over here last night after midnight has been sitting in the senate for about six months. so i think they could have acted on it earlier, but now the choice that we have is exactly as you have described it. do we horse around and let taxes go up on almost everybody in the country, or do we save those taxpayers that we can? >> i asked darrell issa, the republican congressman from california, earlier where we stands on all of this. his answer was intriguing. listen to this. >> i'm with eric cantor. i can't vote for it in its current form. and for a good reason. the senate, the president, and the vice president failed to meet their obligation, their own stated obligation, which was to bring us a balanced bill. one that had tax adjustment, yes, but also had spending cuts. this one fails at that and fails badly. >> he says he's with eric cantor. do you sense, and you're a
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straight talker, straight shooter, congressman, there's a split, there's a disagreement between the speaker and the majority leader, between eric cantor and john boehner, the speaker? >> i think there's an disagreement, uh i have to say they're getting better long than they have since i've been here. but there's been a disagreement, and the leader said he couldn't support the bill. but the speaker is a pragmatist and he's an institutionalist. and it was always, if you go back to plan "b" a week ago, it was always his desire to save as many taxpayers from a tax increase as he could. his calculation is, that's what we're faced with tonight. and i would add parenthetically, i went to the same high school as issa, and we haven't agreed on much since. >> did you agree with him in high school? >> i didn't see him much. >> i'm sure cleveland heights high school can be pretty proud of both of you.
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hey, congressman, thanks very much for coming in. >> who are the winners and who are the losers in this brutal fiscal cliff battle? we'll have a closer look at that. and the breaking news from capitol hill. much more coming up, right after this. to watch it for us. thank you so much. i appreciate it. i'll be right back. they didn't take a dime. how much in fees does your bank take to watch your money? if your bank takes more money than a stranger, you need an ally. ally bank. your money needs an ally.
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all right. there it is, capitol hill. they're meeting late into the night on this january 1st. lots at stake. we're following the breaking news on capitol hill, where republicans, house republicans, they are weighing whether to amend the senate's fiscal cliff bill, send it back to the senate for more action. that could be the kiss of death during this current session. many lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have grave concerns about this measure, the drama surrounding it, and their criticism is blunt. >> i wish i could say that this was a proud moment. a moment in which we started the year off right, in which the first of january was the first of a great many good things. it isn't. we're kicking the can down the road. >> we're about to have a hold your nose vote here in the house of representatives. and many of us are going to wrestle with the problem of making perfect be the enemy of the good. >> senator mitch mcconnell observed, quote, this shouldn't be the model for how we do
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things around here, end quote, and then the senate proceeded like a bull in a china closet anyway. the senate boasts, it is america's deliberative body. today, that claim rings hollow. >> this agreement represents absolutely the least we could have done under these circumstances and tragically, institutionalizes for the next congress the madness of short-term frenzy around artificial deadlines, that drives the american public crazy. >> it's year day, 2013. what an excellent time for congress to make at least new year's resolution. congress is addicted to spending money. maybe congress should join spending anonymous. >> a new year's deal for new year's day. or is it groundhog day? because like the movie "grou "groundhog day," this government in another two months will arrive at another month of debt, spending, and taxes. >> we're joined now by ryan
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lizza, the correspondent for the new yorker magazine. this is the actual bill that passed the senate last night. >> how many do you think read it? >> it's 150 pages or so of gobbledygook if you will, a lot of words in here. hard to understand what's going on. if the house of representatives amends this, adds a few more pages, what are the chances that tomorrow or thursday morning the senate, the current senate, will pass it? >> i have to say, it seems very low. i think the vote tonight that house republicans have is a vote to kill this bill or not. if you're voting yes on the amended bill, if that gets to the floor, then you're voting to kill the legislation and end these fiscal cliff negotiations. because as boehner seems to have pointed out from the reporting that dana has been doing in the conference, he was suggesting to his conference that if we vote for an amended version, it's highly unlikely that the senate is going to pick that up.
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>> let's say they come up with an amended version of this bill, right? no democrats, maybe one or two, but basically no democrats are going to vote in favor. you need 217 republicans. will there be 217 republicans who will vote for this -- >> that is the mystery for today. i wish i knew the answer to that. they're not going to bring it to the floor unless they have the votes. the boehner deal, if he finds he has 217 votes tonight, by going one by one to his members -- if he's got those votes, he brings it to the floor. >> let's say he doesn't have 217, will they take this up, what passed the senate last night? i think that would pass. >> exactly. that's what he's saying. he's saying, if he doesn't have those votes, this goes to the floor. we seem to know most democrats would vote for that. and then he has to get -- >> i've heard 150 democrats would vote for it. and if he gets 67 republicans, you've got a deal. >> and latourette suggested that those 67 republicans are there.
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so high drama tonight, to see if this whip count comes through. because if we see the amended version on the floor, this deal is dead. >> what does this say about john boehner as speaker of the house? what's been going on, not just over the past 24 hours, but over the past few days? >> he's got a very complicated conference and he's not a super empowered, powerful speaker. there was a time in american politics where the speaker of the house could tell his conference or caucus what to do. those days are over. and john boehner, you know, to be fair to him, when he first came in had been, he said, i'm going to dissolve power, i'm going to make my committee chairman more powerful, and listen to the will of the conference on things like that. so he does not have control over the republican conference. this is more proof of than we could ever -- >> i know i covered the house for a long time. there are a lot of speakers -- you know, sam rayburn would never have allowed anything like this -- >> denny hastert. go back to the bush era of republican leadership, if they wanted the votes, they found the votes. a lot of tea party republicans
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who have come in since then, they didn't like the way things were done back then. they didn't like the all-powerful speaker, because they thought that that led to big deficits and spending. >> if he lets this come up, as is, what the senate passed last night and doesn't have a majority of the majority, which was the denny hastert so-called rule, that would be significant. >> that would be significant. because he's then allowing democrats to put this across the finish line. the other thing, what are the spending cuts? nobody has seen the amendments to this bill, the supposed amendments that are these detailed spending cuts. it's kind of got lost in this whole process. if they are going to amend this bill with very specific spending cuts, up until now, no one's outlined them. >> don't they need 72 hours to let the members review? that was the rule they passed, but i guess they'll have to throw that away. >> this would clearly violate that rule. and in the past, boehner has said, if there was some kind of emergency, they would waive that rule. >> so what i hear you saying, and i think i would agree with
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you, the chances are at least right now, a little bit better, that they don't have the 217 for amendments, but they probably will have enough to pass what the senate passed? >> i'm not sure i agree with that. >> you're not ready to go down -- >> i think there are enough republicans in the house who want to vote for a bill with spending cuts, if that's the choice they have. >> even if that means you're effectively going over the cliff and millions and millions of americans are going to see their taxes going up? >> i think that's where the house republican conference is right now. i could be wrong, but i think that's what we've learned today, is they don't like this legislation, and if the choice is between a bill with spending cuts and one without cuts, most republicans will choose the spending cuts bill. i could be wrong, i hope i'm wrong, and i think it's better for the country if we get a deal and this gets resolved tonight. >> we'll see what happens and we'll be watching it every step of the way. thanks very much. financial markets around the world, they will soon be opening
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to news, a deal that the fiscal cliff could be in limbo right now. it actually is in limbo. so who will they make of all the uncertainty going on here in washington? we're going around the world to get some reaction. ...so as you can see, geico's customer satisfaction is at 97%. mmmm tasty. and cut! very good. people are always asking me how we make these geico adverts. so we're taking you behind the scenes. this coffee cup, for example, is computer animated. it's not real. geico's customer satisfaction is quite real though.
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they're trying toing figure out in the house of representatives right now what to do. will they simply consider the senate legislation that passed overwhelmingly in the middle of the night? will there be an up and down vote on that? if it passes, it goes to the president for his signature, the fiscal cliff being averted. on the other hand, will they go ahead and try to pass some spending cut amendments, which would disrupt this entire process and maybe kill it in
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this current congress. tax increases would go forward for millions and millions of americans. we're watching what's happening in the congress right now. world financial markets are watching very closely as well. they'll soon start reopening after the new year holiday, beginning shortly in asia, later overnight in europe, followed by wall street in the mourning. let's go to our chief business correspondent, ali velshi in new york. ali, what will make investors take a look at this fiscal cliff uncertainty and decide to buy or sell? what's going to happen? >> well, they're really going to wait for the same thing we're waiting for. and that is some srcertainty. so at this point, as you've been reporting so well for a few hours, we don't know whether the house is going to vote or whether america is really going over the fiscal cliff for a few days. now, we've got only australia open at the moment and new zealand. these are not markets that will give us a real sense of how the rest of the world is going to go, and that's because those markets are influenced by other
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sources. we're looking for seoul, hong kong, and shanghai, all of which will be open within an hour and a half to two hours, to see how markets are reacting to whatever deal we have. hopefully in two hours, we'll have had some news about to whether this is going to be an up or down vote in the house of representatives, which means everybody gets to vote whether they're in favor of it or not, or whether it's going to be a whipped vote that could either fail or go back to the senate with amendments. so at the moment, wolf, international investors are looking at exactly the same thing we're looking at. if america goes over the fiscal cliff, the net result will be a pullback on growth in the united states, and that is going to be bad for international markets and for international investors. if, on the other hand, the deal that was approved in the senate goes through, then we are probably looking at a pullback in expected growth of about half of 1%, not as serious, and that will probably be positive for markets. wolf? >> when wall street opens tomorrow, let's say there is no deal, and the uncertainty is
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there, should we be bracing for one of those big collapses, hundreds of point loss on the dow jones? >> if i had that kind of good information, i would be calling this report in from my yacht, wolf. but let me tell you what i do think. the s&p 500 closed about 13.5% higher for the year, which is higher than the long-term average. it would have been much higher than that. it would have been 15% or more, except that last week, it gave up a lot of gains on fears of tting no deal. so it's entirely possible a good amount of this is already priced into the markets. you'll sense some disappointment if we don't have a deal. it all depends. does the house come out tonight and say, no deal on anything, we don't like anything about this deal and we'll have to start from scratch. or is it going to be one of those things that the new congress will take up and we'll get resolution within a few days. the flavor and shape of what we get out of the house of representatives tonight will influence trading tomorrow. i want to caution people, we've already got future trades for u.s. markets underway, but you
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never want to look at futures this many hours before a market opens. i only tend to lack at futures within two to three hours of a market opening to get a sense of how that market's going to do. i'll be looking at asian markets to get a sense of how they're behaving around 8:00, 8:30 eastern time. without solid information, we don't want to look to markets for guidance, when really the guidance we're looking for is going to come out of the house of representatives. >> i know you're filling in for aaron burnett at the top of the hour. give us a little preview. what's coming up on "outfront"? >> we'll do a lot of the same stuff you've been doing, wolf. follow very closely with our great group of reporters in washington, hopefully we'll have some development, some sense of whether that whipping of the republican caucus is coming through. we'll also talk to representative tom cole of oklahoma. he was the one who said, why don't we agree to this deal exactly. a deal that deals with taxes and then focus on how to deal with spending. so we're going to get his opinion and see like steve latourette, like you just talked to, which way he's leaning in
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this deal. thanks very much. we'll be watching at the top of the hour, ali velshi, doing excellent, excellent work for all of us. north korea's leader, kim jong-un, delivers the country's first new year's address in nearly two decades. >> kim jong-un is calling for what he says should be an all-out struggle to overhaul his country's destitute economy, as well as an easing of tensions with south korea. but the young leader also praised last month's controversial launch of a long-range rocket. the launch was widely condemned by the united nations and considered to be a test of ballistic missile technology. we'll have much more on this later in the program. the iranian military claims it has successfully test fired a number of advanced missiles and air defense systems during exercises near the key strategic oil passageway of the strait of hormuz. the exercises are part of what iran says is six days of naval maneuvers. they come as the country is
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facing increased pressure from the united states and international community over its controversial nuclear program. a royal dutch drilling rig has unaground on an alaskan island after being cut free from the tug boat towing it after a fierce winter storm. the coast guard says the towing lines were cut to ensure the safety of the boat's crew. shell says hundreds of people are actively involved in response effort s and evaluati the next steps. so far, no leaks have been reported. the rig's 18-person crew was evacuated on saturday. the governor of pennsylvania says the state plans to file a federal lawsuit against the ncaa for what it considers illegal sanctions against penn state university. the governor says he'll reveal more details at a news conference schedule for tomorrow morning. the ncaa filed sanctions against the university in the wake of the jerry sandusky sex abuse scandal. and take a look at this dramatic video. it's a number of people falling through a partially frozen lake in california.
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they were all trying to rescue a sledder who fell in before them. eventually, and thankfully, everyone was pulled to safety. our affiliate stations report the lake will be closed until march as a result of the near tragedy if very lucky that everybody got out okay. >> they certainly are. pretty dramatic video. mary, thank you. we're keeping a very close eye on capitol hill right now. the house of representatives may, repeat, may vote on the fiscal cliff tonight. we're watching it. the ramifications for all of us, enormous. also ahead, some same-sex couples are ringing in the new year with wedding bells. gay marriage now legal in the state of maryland.
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many americans are ringing in the new year with new laws that took effect at the stroke of midnight. and for some same-sex couples in maryland, that means wedding bells. brian todd has details. >> reporter: wolf, an historic day for social change in the united states. today, maryland became the first state south of the mason-dixon line, that's the historic line dividing north and south in america, the first state south of that line to have legalized same-sex marriage.
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and this is the place that lent so much symbolism to it all, city hall here in baltimore. at just after midnight, several same-sex couples got married right here. baltimore mayor stephanie rawlings blake officiated at their ceremonies. some of them spoke to reporters. take a listen. >> jim and i met in 1977. and at that time, i just didn't really believe that gay people would ever see the day that they could marry. >> i'm very happy. this is as happy as i've ever been, and to be able to spend the rest of my life with bill, legally, and just show the gay communities, it can be done. >> reporter: now, maryland's governor martin o'malley went against several leaders of his own catholic faith, including the archbishop of baltimore, to push this through the state legislature. all in all, nine states in america, including the district of columbia, have now legalized same-sex marriage. president obama's home state of illinois may be next. there is an initiative that may be introduced in the coming days in illinois.
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also, the u.s. supreme court is going to review two cases, two challenges to federal and state laws that define marriage as a union between a man and a woman. so a lot coming up legislatively and at the supreme court regarding same-sex marriage. wolf? >> brian, thank you. other laws takes effect this year, in illinois, middle schoolers, get this, they must now learn how to use a defibrillator. it's not illegal to possess or sell shark fins. and for sex offenders to dress up as santa claus or the easter bunny or hand out candy on halloween. in florida, it's no longer illegal to flash your headlights to warn other drivers of a speed trap. in oregon, teachers are now required to report suspected student bullies. and in california, employers can't require employees or job applicants, for that matter, to disclose their social media passwords. illinois passed a similar measure. all eyes on capitol hill right now, where the house of representatives may be voting on
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the fiscal cliff in the next few hours. stand by. we're watching. also ahead, a dangerous blood clot between her brain and her skull. what will it mean for hillary clinton's future politically and personally? we're taking a closer look. woman: we're helping joplin, missouri, come back from a devastating tornado. man: and now we're helping the east coast recover from hurricane sandy. we're a leading global insurance company, based right here in america. we've repaid every dollar america lent us. everything, plus a profit of more than $22 billion. for the american people. thank you, america. helping people recover and rebuild -- that's what we do. now let's bring on tomorrow. [ male announcer ] the way it moves. the way it cleans. everything about the oral-b power brush is simply revolutionary. oral-b power brushes oscillate, rotate and even pulsate to gently loosen and break up that sticky plaque
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news of a blood clot between hillary clinton's brain and her skull now raising some questions about her future. will her current health crisis have any impact at all? cnn's mary snow is back with this part of the story. first, what's the latest on hillary clinton's condition, mary? >> her doctors haven't updated her condition since disclosing the details of the blood clot that put secretary of state hillary clinton in the hospital sunday, saying she's making excellent progress. an expert in blood clots told us if left untreated, these clots can be very serious but he said the fact it's being addressed is a good sign things should return to normal. on a day when secretary of state hillary clinton was supposed to be getting ready to return to work, she spent another day at a new york hospital. her doctors say they are treating her with blood thinners after discovering a blood clot in the vein between the brain and skull behind the right ear. they expect her to make a full
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recovery and say she did not suffer a stroke or neurological damage. dr. jack ansell is not involved in secretary clinton's case but has treated cases like hers, and calls them rare. he's the chairman of the department of medicine at lenox hill hospital. what does this mean for the future? >> i think her future is as good as her past. she should recover from this. she will be treated with blood thinners. i can't say how long because i don't know all of the circumstances but certainly, minimum of three to six months, may well be longer. could in some rare cases be life-long but many patients are on blood thinners for life for other conditions. she should recover fully and get back to work. >> reporter: that work is grueling. hillary clinton has traveled to more than 100 countries as secretary of state and logged close to a million miles during that time. dr. ansell says while travel is something to watch out for among people who suffer blood clots, most often in the leg veins, which mrs. clinton did have in the late 1990s, he doesn't see
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her travel schedule being an impediment. >> i think the travel is probably more an issue of with the blood clot she had back about 12 years ago in her leg, so anybody who has had a blood clot, they are always at risk for developing another one, and the risk is probably a little greater than if they never had a blood clot. so i think travel is potentially an issue for the secretary, but i would imagine that when she travels, she's not sitting in a coach seat cramped up and sitting still. >> reporter: secretary clinton is planning to step down as president obama's second term begins. while she has repeatedly said she is not interested in running for president again, she is viewed as the democratic favorite in 2016 should she choose to run. wolf, doctors familiar with these types of rare clots say that it is unlikely it developed as a side effect of secretary clinton's recent concussion. some speculated it could be tied to another underlying condition or perhaps simply dehydration.
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her aides say she experienced that after a stomach virus a few weeks ago. wolf? >> she had a stomach virus, flu, she was dehydrated, she fainted, then she got the concussion as a result of falling and hitting her head. we wish her, of course, a speedy, speedy recovery. hope that she gets back into action very soon. mary, thank you. when we come back, one of the country's most important documents makes a rare appearance to mark a very significant milestone. . . what? customers didn't like it. so why do banks do it? hello? hello?! if your bank doesn't let you talk to a real person 24/7, you need an ally. hello? ally bank. your money needs an ally. it'll cause cavities, bad breath. patients will try and deal with it by drinking water.
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♪ the 16th president of the united states certainly has been getting a lot of attention lately. first there was the release of the popular film "lincoln" starring daniel day-lewis. now the country is marking the 150th anniversary of abraham lincoln's emancipation proclamation. the document which placed freeing the slaves at the top of abraham lincoln's wartime agenda was read aloud today at the national archives here in washington.